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on 22 February 2004
The previous work by the same author, "Expert one-on-one: Oracle", got an average of 5/5 stars and more than 50 reviews, which is of course an outstanding result for any book, but especially for books about Oracle, which aren't normally so well-received by the readers community (to say the least). Well, I'm sure that this book is going to get the same success.
Thomas Kyte is well known for being an excellent writer, and in fact the material is presented here in a clear, concise yet complete manner, and it's very easy to follow the discussion and reproduce the examples.
The examples themselves are one of the greatest strengths of this book, because they illustrate, and prove, the topics discussed (and so what is written is *reliable*, which is of course a fundamental property for any technical book, but a quality seldom found in other Oracle tomes). At the same time, the examples (written mostly in SQL and PL/SQL) teach you a lot about how to code appropriately (the Author being a well-known SQL guru), showing e.g. syntactic variations, useful Oracle-supplied packages, new Oracle extensions ... I strongly believe that in order to be a good developer you must be exposed to high quality code, and reading this book is an excellent way to achieve this (well, I learnt more about SQL and PL/SQL from Thomas Kyte's books than from other books dedicated exclusively to SQL and PL/SQL programming).
The book is also magic - it can read your mind. Yes, I had in store a couple of non-trivial questions to be asked on, and I found the answers in the book! Well, this magic property comes straight from the Author's experience in answering thousands of technical question on his aforementioned web site, asked by Oracle developers and DBAs all around the world - so it's not surprising that the book is tuned with what people think, and need to know, about Oracle. I would say that this is a feature present only in Thomas Kyte's books, since there is simply no other place like asktom.
To sum up - this book and "Expert one-on-one: Oracle" are overall the best books about Oracle I've read, and I own more than 15 of them. I can't remember all the times that I've used the latter book in my work as an Oracle specialist, and I've already used a lot of things learnt from this book as well. I absolutely recommend both this and "Expert one-on-one: Oracle".
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VINE VOICEon 25 February 2005
This is possibly one of the best technical books I have ever read - I can't believe I have been taking a wage based on my skills as an Oracle developer considering the huge gaps in my knowlege that have been highlighted by this tome.
Usually I shy away from large technical volumes because I know from experience they just sit, gathering dust, on my bookshelves. However, this book is so well written it is actually like pleasure reading. If I did have a criticism it would be that the author really pushes his mantra of "do your own benchmarking", consequently every point he makes has lenghthy examples of tests he has run along side it. Sometimes it just makes you think, "OK, I believe you, now lets get on with it". This is a minor quibble, the book is a reference, not meant to be read from cover to cover (although I did) and also much can be learnt from just looking at the code he is writing.
If you have anything to do with Oracle in your working life, other than being the most low level user, you need to read this book.
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I have enjoyed this book a great deal. Kyte offers strategy as well as tactics. His section about Oracle architecture may be unique and is certainly unmatched.
The only criticisms I can offer is that this book is rather long for what it offers and sometimes neglects to show the whys as well as the hows.
An example is with bind variables. Kyte certainly tells you how to do it but I had to learn the why and when (and when not to) from an O'Reilly book. Kyte makes the point that rarely is there a majic bullet within Oracle, that many techniques work well in many or most situations. But he soemtimes doesn't offer the theory which might lead to a good guess on what will work in your situation....
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on 11 December 2014
Excellent book, extremely clear! ask.tom never fails...
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on 6 February 2011
The content of the book, i.e. what the author wrote, is excellent.
The book itself arrived very late (dispatched to wrong address) and has extensive coffee/tee stain. Whatever liquid was dropped on it, was soaked in by several pages and dribbled down the sides. Hardly in "very good" condition as described at time of purchase!
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on 3 February 2004
Am fan of Tom Kyte .... the way he explains things is too good. Three cheers to him.
0Comment0 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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